Tuesday, September 05, 2006

North Black Rock Range Wilderness, August 4-5, 2006

It's amazing what a few people can do with a little determination and muscle-power.

On August 5, I got the pleasure of covering for Pat, who was visiting family in Scotland, and participate in a restoration project in the North Black Rock Range Wilderness.

On a beautiful sunny day, with enough breeze to keep things from heating up, a total of 15 people, comprising volunteers, BLM staff, and an crew of international volunteers affiliated with the Nevada Outdoor School in Winnemucca, put to rest a three illegal vehicle routes in wilderness. The BLM's Brian Murdock, volunteer George Barnes, and I had restored the most aggregious route almost two years ago to the day, but it was quickly driven over during hunting season. This time we put a lot more work into it (having more people helps) to make sure the restoration work would stay.

We also hiked out an old refrigerator from the peak of the North Black Rock Range, perhaps a mile from the boundary. It had served as a housing for radio equipment for a local rancher in the past, but it had long since become litter. We hiked it out.

Removing the refrigerator was nothing more than picking up litter, really. But it was deeply rewarding to be able to move this beautiful wilderness area somewhat closer to its original state. Now, anyone who hikes to that peak will say, "Wow, look at that view!" instead of "Jeez, what's a refrigerator doing up here?"

After a long good day of work, we drove back to our camp among the beautiful aspens of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Wilderness Study Area and enjoyed a wonderful dinner of Tamale pie, fajitas, and Dutch oven apple crisp. Despite all the work that day, I think we ended up gaining weight.

It was a wonderful way to spend the weekend.

Brian Beffort
Associate Director
Friends of Nevada Wilderness

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